Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Final Post

Hello, This blog contains an archive of my readings and thoughts for an Instructional Technology Studio (Design) Class (6190). I will not be updating this blog again. These writings and materials are presented as an archive of graduate level work in the Instructional Design & Development program at UGA (Studio 2) in 2005, which was meant to be a second Master's Degree. Due to a serious health issue at the time, I did not finish that program. Materials for my work in IDD program include my project journals, documents and links to projects (hosted elsewhere) for Studio 1 (project: Spiralism, a CSS/flash based online exhibit) , Studio 2 (project: SPARC, CSS/standards; interviews with artists on creativity), and Introduction to Instructional Technology (readings, presentations).

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Screenshot for project

I thought I would include a screenshot of drek's webpage prototype.

He wanted something simple with a neutral blue color scheme...

This site will include a photo gallery/slide show, clips of drek painting, as well as the usual artist promo stuff/

Reflection10: Project Management Journal in Blogger

Dr. Orey and others,
I am interested in your response to a project management journal done using some sort of journaling/blogging tool. I chose to use blogger because it was free and I didn't have to setup anything (so it is something that any student could use). I could have easily set up a journal utilizing a different software.

One thing that I was hoping was that people would give me deskcrits via the commenting feature of blogger. Only one person did, everyone else emailed me, although the give a desk crit goes to blogger. I'm not sure if that was because it was different from everyone else, people just preferred email, or something else.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Reflection 9: After the showcase

I think one of the things that seemed to cause some confusion with my project is that people expected it to be instructional. I also sensed this with some of the other projects, too.

In general the response to my project was very positive, but I also think that people do not realize how hard it is to work with CSS or what my site really did. Some of the problems that I encountered (getting the flash to work properly in firefox, formatting without tables...etc.) involved code trickery of one sort or another. I spent alot of time on 'code junkie' sites reading about the various problems and solutions.

I think there are few people in studio (at least in 6190) that even realize why CSS is important or what it does, which is troubling to me as I see CSS as an important part of the future of the web. It is also the reason why I developed the alternate style sheet so that people could see CSS in action. CSS is also, to a certain point, part of the whole drive towards web based standards. Of course, I could have perhaps explained this better in either my project info or in the showcase.

To sum up, I really learned alot with my project. I'm glad I got to use Flash and learn it, but to be honest the accessibility and compliancy issues bother me alot. Yes, Flash is cool and definitely seems to be the 'hot' development tool at the moment.

Although I think all of the Blue Socks winners definitely deserved their awards, it did bother me that all of the winners were entirely Flash, with the only exception a hybrid html/Flash site ('walk to rhythm'). I do not know if that is typical or exactly the criteria used to judge the Blue Sock awards, but it would seem to me that accessibility should be part of the discussion. It has bothered me off and on (sometimes more, sometimes less) than UGA seems to be moving away from web compliancy and standards -- or at least, it seems some parts of the website would be of little use to those with disabilities or even very slow modems .

Michael's timely post to the listserv about accessibility and providing written transcription of audio components of websites was certainly relevant, but there is also the other side of it: text reading/audio web transcription of websites for the site impaired.

Perhaps categories for the Blue Sock award would be useful, because a site that is completely ADA and W3C Compliant is probably not going to be the prettiest.

Feedback from the showcase

Here are my comments/feedback transcribed from the showcase:

"very informative. The 'crossing off' feature for visited sites is nice. This would be a great research tool"

"very interesting. I wondered a little bit about the purpose of it, but for what it is, or anyone who was interested in spiralism, this site is very helpful"

"I liked the way after you visited each link, it crossed out the link, so you don't look at it again."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Desk crit 5: Lauren

Hi Robin,
I enjoyed looking at your project, especially your
photographs and galleries. I like the fact that you brand your
photos, and how you've explored options for changing the style
sheet on the fly. I wanted to start learning CSS this semester
and found that it over-taxed my brain -- it is just a very
different way of thinking! So, I cannot begin to know how
you managed to do it! I like how your flash piece integrates
with the the look and feel of the site, and would maybe like
to have one fewer color block element in the blue theme --
maybe the violet on the left side which is very close in value
to the blue that is used for the link blocks. I like the
colors and the background image in the blue theme, but the green
theme colors seemed to be placed or used in a way that better
conveys structure and hierarchy. If that makes any sense.

I also agree with some of the other comments you have received
that it would be nice to have the opening flash piece freeze
on the title a little longer before going into the gallery.

Thanks for sharing your site -- I would really appreciate any
suggestions you could offer on my 6190 project.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Desk Crit 4: Emily P.

Cool stuff, I'm impressed! This is an excellent example
of how to make a table-free website. (Thinking about peeking
behind the scenes to learn more about that!) I like your colors,
photo series, and layout. You've also included wonderful project
and spiral resources.

Here are some quick comments for you:
Opening page flash: When the spiral swirls down
and the title appears, could you let the title stay
there for a bit longer? Maybe a few more beats, so
there's enough time to read it.

The navigation looks very professional. Again,
wonderful use of color! It would read better
if you could separate the spiral project work
from the support stuff. The "*links behind" bit was
lost on me, I tried to click it for more links. Maybe move
project resources and the * items to the very
bottom, separate them from the rest with a larger break,
and take out the * explanation. The other part of this
is the a:hover view, this would be
better if the treatment were consistent
(swapping the background color,
underlining, whatever you go with). I'm partial to the
blue navigation, it seems much more put together
than the other (although, I like having the
options between styles).

The mini photo gallery jumps from the
other layout, (with the red borders and spiral bkgd)
and does not accept the green style. It would be good
if this matched the other project pages.

Now that you've learned about CSS -- have you played
around with making your own templates for Blogger?
A challenge: make your blogger pages match the
look-and-feel of your project pages.

Oh, I just looked at your code -- I'm so excited to
see the unordered list driving your navigation!
I saw A List Apart in your resources, have you
looked at Listamatic? http://css.maxdesign.com.au/index.htm

Desk Crit 7: Jennifer Buoy In Memorial

Hi Jennifer,
I thought the structure and color design was a great choice and very appropriate for a memorial site. I feel like I now know your grandfather. :)

My only suggestion is on the intro page in the body of the text, to include some sort of navigational cue or directions, e.g., 'to start click on the photo' "click on the letters to navigate," however you might want to word it or address it. It took me a minute to figure out how to navigate. :)

Also at the end, it might be nice to sort of frame it with a similiar page summing up or even take the person back to the intro, which does such a great job explaining your project. I don't think that's necessary to your project, but something to consider.

Looks great. Understated and respectful in the best way.

Response to Ericka's critique

I did find a broken code string on the mini photo gallery, which I've fixed :) and I moved the 'home' link to the top of the menu. As for the additional image in the second css, 'green version' I added that so that people could see what CSS can do. :)

I'll check out the flash....

Desk Crit 3: From Ericka

this is a really cool way to show your artwork, and i can tell
that you learned a lot doing this project. i definitely like
the photo slide show of your artwork with the captions;
however, once you go to slide 14 then click next it goes to
slide 2 instead of slide 1. you probably should double check
that. in the mini art gallery, the links on the left have
extra spaces between them. i'm not sure if you are aware of
this or not. also, i think it is kind of weird that the first
link in the left column is not your home page. this could just
be personal preference, but i'm not sure if i like the spiral
graphic behind the links. it kind of looks weird to me since
it doesn't go down far like the spirals on the right. finally,
when you change to green i really like the sprials to the left
of the links, but they aren't there when the theme is blue.

keep in mind these are suggestions and observations. good luck
with everything.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Website consultation 04/20/2005 1 hour

Description of Service: Website consultation
Discuss content of website, audience, scope
Drek Davis Art Grad Student
Date of Service: 04/20/2005
Time spent: hours and hours 1 hour

Reflection 8: A few changes

I'm trying a new thing: creating a separate style sheet so that folks can see what CSS does. To be honest, I'm not sure anyone cares..... ;)

I also made the links outside my project open a new window. Is that a good thing? I don't know. maybe. In theory it should be.

I feel like my project is as polished as it is going to be. Is it a good web project? Not really... audience wise, it is kind of limited.

Things left to do:
Finish up my service hours
Finish my digitization
Write a final project reflection & course reflection

I think my digitization project may not be completed until after Thurs. I might even stay Thurs night to work on it. Basically, I have the video... I just need to add in a title, strip out the audio, and perhaps, add in music... I'm not sure about that part. Maybe I will work on it tonight.

My service hours are finishing Drek's website or at least, continuing to work on it. I will load the two prototypes tonight for Drek to review. In all honesty, that will finish up my service hours committment. However, I will continue to work with Drek over the next month to get his website where it needs to be.


Monday, April 25, 2005

Desk Crit 6: Ericka Mayweather Spanish language project

I thought your project looked fabulous -- very story oriented and creative. I was able to navigate through it without any problems. My only two questions/concerns were that I couldn't figure out how to pause/stop in the middle of a segment. Of course, for teaching, having a 'pause button' may not necessarily be warranted. Also, the music seems very loud. I am wondering if there is a way to control the music level on you end.